I pity the fool

Since the day I moved in with The Boy (now The Husband) 2 weeks shy of 4 years ago, I have been planning the construction of The Kitchen.

The ripping out of walls, replacing of floors, re-plastering, rewiring, installing gas, tiling... this is not a quick job replacing cupboard doors and a lick of paint. This is gutting a room back to the bare bricks and installing a completely new kitchen over a period of a month.

For a food blogger, being without my kitchen for a month is... I have no words for how hard that is.
For a person suffering OCD, the disruption to the house is even harder.

But, like anything worth doing it's worth doing right. I spent weeks choosing a spectacular one of a kind purple and black Belling range. 8 gas burners, 4 ovens, we've excavated the chimney breast and had cupboards custom-built to surround it. I've colour matched the kettle, toaster, kitchen scales and other accessories. The entire kitchen, in short has been designed around this particular oven.

And more than that, the entire construction process is to be timed and executed around the installation of this oven. Currently the kitchen is a rubble filled shell, waiting it to be delivered next week in order for the electrics and new gas supply to be connected where the various pipes and extractors need to go. The chimney breast cannot be tiled without the oven and extractor. The floor coverings cannot go in without the oven. The cupboards cannot go in without the oven.

Do you see where this is going?

Upon calling Comet, where we bought the oven from, to provide them with the delivery date, we were told that the oven could not be delivered until mid-September. The guy doing the construction is having knee replacement surgery in September.

A MONTH FROM NOW. A month where progress on this kitchen cannot continue beyond the bare minimum of plastering half of the walls and ceiling. A month where I will not have a functioning kitchen.
A month where even when the oven is delivered, it cannot be finished due to the knee surgery. When he had surgery on his first knee, it took him 4 months before he could go back to work.

We bought this oven from Comet based on the fact that it could be made and delivered at a certain point during the construction process. They understood this and agreed to it. My husband came off the phone delighted with the customer service when he ordered it.

We are in the position where we cannot look to another supplier for the oven or turn back the construction of the kitchen. It's gone too far now.

When my husband called this morning to try to resolve the situation, they hung up on him.

Hung. Up. On. Him.

This is going to leave us without a kitchen, with people coming to stay at the end of the month for The Husband's birthday that I cannot cater for. With a kitchen that may not be finished until 5 months from now.
How are we going to eat? How are we going to be able to afford to cope for 5 months without a kitchen?

And Comet don't give a shit, if you'll excuse the phrase. No apology. no offer of compensation. No solution to having some priority on manufacture at Belling because of course they have their own supply chain of parts to wait for etc.

So thank you Comet. Thank you for ruining my kitchen.


Thank you for the support so far everyone. This blog has had a fantastic number of views and it only took a minor amount of retweeting for us to be contacted first by the lovely Belling (manufacturer of the oven) to say that they're going to contact Comet on our behalf and try to resolve the situation.

Secondly by Comet who have not apologised or offered a solution as of yet, but assured us they are looking into it. They don't seem to have grasped the severity of the situation, but rather asked what we felt a fair resolution would be.

1) Having the oven delivered on time, or no later than 1 week beyond what was promised so that my kitchen can be completed this month before the man who is constructing it has his knee operation.

2) Having an ex-display model delivered on time, with an appropriate reduction in cost and apology for the inconvenience and distress that they have caused.

3) Having a replacement oven (of the same spec, size and colour) provided on time or no later than 1 week beyond what was promised.

They do not have any excuse for this situation. At the time of ordering we explained our situation, and that if they could not supply the oven within the time-scales then we could not order it and would have to seek an alternative. They assured us it could be done.

When we had the order confirmation a few days later it stated delivery of 25th December. We called to enquire and were told that it was the standard date that the system puts in, and that the oven would be available within the timescales we required.

That was two opportunities they had to check the delivery and let us know that it could not be done. But they didn't. The person we spoke to today, told us that they have always known the timescales for manufacture and always known that Belling go on Factory shutdown in August for 2 weeks. They claim that it could never have been delivered in time.

But yet when this situation could have been rectified, they did not take the opportunity to tell us. It seems that getting the order in, and to hell with the personal circumstances of the customer are pro forma.

Quite frankly, I am beyond disgusted. I've heard nothing but negative accounts of Comet all day from people on Facebook and Twitter. If this situation is not resolved appropriately then I am most certainly not taking it lying down.

* EDIT *

After several days of tweeting, emailing, calling and Facebook strops I am thrilled to say that I've had a call from Comet's PR department to let me know they've pulled some strings at Belling and will have our oven by Friday (2 days from now). Once they've checked it over and are satisfied with it, they'll deliver it to us (should be early next week) and construction on the kitchen can continue.

Hopefully it will all be finished by the time Dave needs to go in for his knee operation, he's been amazing so far trying to work around the oven delay as much as possible. Like any good project manager I gave an allowance for delays on the job (only 3 days though, I'm a slave driver!) but hopefully we'll be able to reclaim the last week somehow.

Thank you to everyone for all of your support. I couldn't have done it without you!

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: I pity the fool by David Bowie


lebeautemps said...

I'd look at legal action: you would be forced to incur more costs due to lack of kitchen for what, 4-5months post your builder's surgery because they have reneged on a contract?

You might find they get your appliance to you pretty sharply.

TG Mobile Mechanics said...

I would never shop at Comet again. 4 replacement fridge freezers later and we are still experiencing problems. Just had a call from the so called complaints team who are now blaming me for the third fridge freezer not cooling down. Advised
I should not have put any food in the unit for 12 hours. We put the food in after the time the drivers/installers advised had passed. The issue was with the cooling system at the back of the fridge which was twisted and bent. Rather than accepting responsibility the blame has been passed to ourselves. Apparently putting food in your fridge can break it! I have never experienced customer service like it. Asked for copies of the calls to be sent out but they aren't recorded apparently. How convenient! Told there would be no discount as we had already had £170 off in the Sale. Does buying a sale item justify damaged goods? I don't think so. Asked to speak to a team leader as the advisor kept speaking over me, told no one was available yet he spoke to the team leader. When questioned about it the story changed - You cant speak to team leaders apparently! hmm. Avoid Comet if you can, the price might be appealing but the after service is appalling! Never again. If we had the cash we would get a refund and take our business else where.